Today, like many other Sundays in the autumn, many of us gather together to cheer on our favorite football teams. For me, that means the New York Giants, who have had a rather dismal season thus far and have already been eliminated from any hopes of a playoff spot. When you look at it objectively, my life doesn’t really improve if my team wins or diminish if it loses. The Giants blue and red has no greater value in the great scheme of things than the Redskins burgundy and gold or the Cowboys navy and silver. Although fun, most of us realize that it is merely a game, a diversion to entertain us every fall and winter. No team really subscribes to any kind of philosophy or ethic…the only goal is to win.
Are political parties any different? Are they merely a collection of politicians and activists looking to get “their people” elected and to ensure that “their people” acquire power? A number of my Republican friends are cheering Saturday’s defeat of Mary Landreau in the run-off race in Louisiana. But how many of us were a part of that campaign? How many of us can even vote in Louisiana? I wasn’t involved in either capacity. Though, on the other hand, I suppose I did have a bit of a hand in the process, working for a pro-life group who supported Bill Cassidy. Nevertheless, from my research it seemed that from an ideological perspective, Rob Maness would have been a far better choice than Cassidy.
So, next year the Republican Party will increase its majority in the House of Representatives and gain the Senate as a result of the 2014 midterm elections. The important question to ask is, what does this mean for conservatives and libertarians? Will Congress now take a firm stand against the unconstitutional overreaches of the president? Will they work to actually cut the size and scope of the federal government? Will they try to cut the exploding federal deficit? And if they engage in the above activities will it be because they actually believe that it is the right thing to do or merely to oppose a Democratic president? After all, so many of the Republicans in office now were active conspirators in the effort to expand federal power under the presidency of George W. Bush. The first test will be whether Republicans continue to give the reins of power to people with little ideological principle like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
I’m very hopeful that at least a few, solid individuals were elected in the Republican wave of 2014. After all, the GOP needs a heck of a lot more people like Ron Paul and Justin Amash while at the same time rejecting the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams.
I do caution those of us who love liberty that while November 4th was a victory for the Republican Party, it wasn’t necessarily a victory for us. In the next two years, will the government allow us to keep more of our own money in our pockets? Will it work to restore our civil liberties here and abroad? Will it curtail needlessly entangling itself in civil wars and the internal affairs of foreign nations? Will it actually obey the limits placed upon it by the Constitution and insist the president do likewise? If the answer to all of these questions is no, then the only thing that happened last month was that the red Republican team defeated the blue Democratic team and the most recent election was as meaningless and hollow as the Giants trouncing of the Tennessee Titans today.